Faith briefs

Hays Daily News

First Presbyterian returning to in-person services

Hays First Presbyterian Church, 2900 Hall St., will return to in-person worship services at 10 a.m. Sunday, April 11, for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic.

The Session—the governing body of the church—in a recent email to members said that facemasks and social distancing would be required, 

The air conditioning will be turned off prior to the church service. “We will pre-cool the building prior to worship and shut off the system during worship.  That may mean the sanctuary will be cooler at the beginning of the service, and warmer by the end,” the email said.  

In addition, the service will be shorter, “hopefully offering more opportunities for worship, prayer, and silent meditation,” the email said.

The Rev. Celeste Lasich is the pastor.  Those with questions may call (785) 625-2847.

Divine Mercy Sunday to be celebrated April 11

The Catholic parishes in and around Hays will celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday with an hour of prayer and benediction at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 11, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 500 E. 19th.

The service will include adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the Divine Mercy Chaplet in song, and prayers, music and meditation.

The Divine Mercy image is a painting of Jesus with two rays emerging from his heart representing the blood and water that flowed from the side of Jesus as his heart was lanced as he died upon the cross.

According to a news release, “Divine Mercy is not just for Catholics . . . All are invited to participate in this special hour of prayer.”

FHSU students to hold triathlon fundraiser

The Health and Human Performance Club at Fort Hays State University is sponsoring a benefit Team Triathlon at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, April 24, in Cunningham Hall on campus.

Proceeds will benefit Lauren Schmeidler, a fourth grade cancer patient in Hays. Schmeidler, who was diagnosed with leukemia in August 2020, attends Holy Family Elementary School and travels back and forth to Kansas City for treatment at Children’s Mercy Hospital. 

Anita Walters, instructor in the HHP Department, said teams will consist of three members. One member will run one mile, one member will bike three miles, and one will swim 400 yards (competitors under age 13 will swim 200 yards).

Teams may be comprised of mixed ages and genders. Registration fee is $10 per person or $30 per team.  Other donations are encouraged. Registration deadline has been extended to 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 14, at

According to a news release, prizes will be awarded to the team with the best time and the individuals with the best time in the 12 and under, 13 to 18, and 19 and up age groups for each event.

More information is available on the College of Health and Behavioral Science Facebook page.

Speaker to detail his journey through foster care

The College of Education at Fort Hays State University will be presenting a virtual symposium titled “H.O.P.E.—Healthy Outlooks, Positive Emotions” from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, April 15.

The keynote speaker will be Jamie Schwandt, an adjunct instructor in the Department of Health and Human Performance at FHSU. He is a major in the U.S. army and serves as a command inspector general. He received his doctorate from Kansas State University and has published four books. Schwandt, a former foster child, writes for several blogs and magazines.

“He is speaking about his personal journey through the foster care system and how those in the system, children and adults, can be successful,” said Sarah Lancaster, assistant professor of Advanced Education Programs at FHSU.

The event is an Olliff Family Educational Symposium, whose mission is “supporting the mental well-being of students in Kansas from pre-kindergarten through college.”

Registration is available at The event will be offered on Zoom and is free and open to the public.

More information is available from Lancaster at

FHSU student group planning bingo fundraiser

The Us 4 U student group at Fort Hays State University is having a bingo fundraiser to benefit ReconcilingWorks: Lutherans for Full Participation.  The student organization is affiliated with Trinity Lutheran Church, 2703 Fort.

Each Us 4 U member is trying to fill a bingo card with different dollar amounts, ranging from $1 to $10 per square.  Each person who donates by May 3 will be entered to win a $25 Starbucks gift card, said Anna Towns, the group’s coordinator.

According to its website, ReconcilingWorks ”advocates for the acceptance, full participation, and liberation of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions within the Lutheran Church.”

Donations may be made via Venmo@Us4u_FHSU or with a check made out to Trinity Lutheran Church.

Questions may be directed to Towns at (785) 625-2044. More information about ReconcilingWorks is available at